Whenever I’m at a dinner party and meet somebody new, the inevitable question comes up: What do you do? When I tell them I’m a heartbreak reinvention coach, it always leads to an interesting conversation. Usually, I get to hear the story of Their Big Breakup, and it’s always gut-wrenching, soul-shifting, and chock full of life lessons.

Having written about my Big Breakup in my book It’s a Breakup, Not a Breakdown and the follow up workbook, I can tell you easily what my lessons were. In sharing them, I have discovered that they are pretty universal. What follows are four of the top universal lessons learned following a breakup:

Lesson #1: In the right relationship, you never have to apologize for or compromise who you are
Have you ever been in a relationship where you couldn’t be who you really are? Were there parts of your personality you felt like you had to tone down in order to make your partner comfortable? The truth is, in the wrong relationship we can’t be our authentic selves. In the right relationship, we are celebrated. Even our quirks are accepted, even loved. The beauty of breaking free of the wrong relationship is that you’re now free to be who you really are, maybe even the person you’re transforming into. If you hadn’t gone through the breakup, you wouldn’t be free to reinvent yourself as this magnificent woman.

Lesson #2: In the wrong relationship, dreams go unrealized
We all have dreams. Some are not yet spoken, but they’re lurking, bubbling, making their way into our conscious mind. However, when we’re in the wrong relationship, we may not be able to realize our dreams. We may have to sacrifice some part of our dream life to make our partner happy. Maybe our efforts are focused on fulfilling their dreams, or maybe we know deep down that our dreams would intimidate our partner and so it’s just easier to keep them under wraps. Who gets the short end of the stick? Ultimately, you do. Nobody else suffers from your unrealized dreams. If you had dreams that were put on the back burner during a past relationship, now’s the time to reignite the passion, allowing yourself to bring your dreams into your reality.

Lesson #3: Some relationships are temporary
Not every relationship lasts forever. But that doesn’t mean the relationship was a complete and total failure. It just means that your ex served his purpose in your life (and vice versa), and the time came for you to part ways and move on. By giving thanks for the short-term relationships you’ve had, you learn to respect your lessons. You also discover what you’re looking for in your next relationship. Instead of focusing on your breakups as failures, celebrate them for the beautiful life lessons that they are.

Lesson #4: Your gut will never steer you wrong
How many times has your gut told you “caution,” and yet you jumped headfirst into dangerous water? Whether it was a wrong relationship, a wrong job, etc., something in you knew that things would not end up well. But you went for it anyway. You ignored your gut. Consider it a lesson learned. After a breakup, get reacquainted with your gut. Promise to listen to it next time. Trust that it will never lead you astray. The truth is, it won’t.

What valuable lessons have you learned from your breakup? Share them with me @ LisaSteadman.com!

Author's Bio: 

Internationally acclaimed heartbreak reinvention coach Lisa Steadman works with women who are ready to heal the pain of the past and step into their brilliant futures. She’s the best selling author of It's A Breakup Not A Breakdown: Get over the big one and change your life - for good! and the follow up workbook It's a Breakup, Not a Breakdown Workbook: A 21-Day Action Plan to Plot Your Revenge, Spoil Yourself, and Find Out How Good Your Life Is Without Him. She regularly contributes to the media, including appearances on The Today Show, The Tyra Banks Show, Playboy Radio, and New Zealand’s Good Morning. Lisa lives in Southern California with her husband, whom she met and married after successfully surviving and thriving following her Big Breakup. She can be found at LisaSteadman.com.